Isaiah 53

Have you ever read Isaiah 53 from The Message? It’s powerful…

Several days ago,  I saw Los’ suggestion to check out this song, “Healer”. So I went to the link and heard the song, and watched the video about the story behind it.

And then I watched the performance of it.

…over and over and over again.

At the beginning of the song, the artist reads the first half of Isaiah 53 from The Message, and made more sense to me than it ever has.

Check it out:

1 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?

2-6 The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.

Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.
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Reconciling the beatitudes with being American

I was reading in Luke 6 this morning. After Jesus pronounces His ‘blesseds’, He pronounces His ‘woes’:

24(AS) “But woe to you who are rich,(AT) for you(AU) have received your consolation.

25“Woe to you who are full now, for(AV) you shall be hungry.

“Woe to(AW) you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.”

And I asked myself, “What’s fundamentally wrong with being rich?”

And I responded (to myself), “Because all rich people know some poor people, and that means that they are withholding their riches at the cost of their friends’ comfort and provision.”

And then I thought, “Well, most people seem to agree that all Americans are pretty much rich by the rest of the world’s standards. So, who are the poor people that we know?”

And then I thought, “Well, pretty much the rest of the world.”

And that’s kind of funny

…for about 5 seconds.

And then it’s disturbing and overwhelming.

I’m typing this on a computer that cost more than many people will make in the next 5 years.

What kind of steward am I being?

What kind of steward are you being?

Romans 5:15-21

15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for(A) many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For(B) the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought(C) justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness(D) reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18Therefore, as one trespass[a] led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness[b] leads to justification and life for(E) all men. 19For as by the one man’s(F) disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s(G) obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now(H) the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased,(I) grace abounded all the more, 21so that,(J) as sin reigned in death,(K) grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Another great start to the day…

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I noticed this scripture in Acts 13 for this first time this morning:

(38) Let it be known to you therefore, brothers,(CL) that through this man(CM) forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, (39) and by him(CN) everyone who believes is freed[c] from everything(CO) from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.

Who Was I?

I spent some time looking at the Scripture this morning for the first time in several days. It’s so easy to let that piece of my day get away when I get busy. Somehow the logic goes, “I have to work 10 hours today so I need my extra sleep so that I can have a good attitude and be a good witness to the people I’ll work with.”

And there’s some wisdom in that. But not when it’s the usual case. My soul can’t survive long without meditating on God. No one’s can, I believe.

This morning, I decided to wait until I got to work to get into the Word, so that the drive in could wake me up a little bit. When I got here, I realized that I don’t have my Bible, so I used BibleGateway instead. I haven’t used that site for much in a while, but they have really made it useful!

So this morning, I was read Acts 11, and a line really jumped off the page. The context is that Peter is getting a bunch of crap from the religious people because he spent time with, and ate with non-Jews. Basically, these were the bloggers/watchdogs/jealous wannabe ministry guys who chose to criticize Peter for what God did through him because they were jealous that He didn’t use them instead. (The amount of time that is spent each week writing blog posts criticizing Mark Driscoll really comes to mind here)

In verse 17, Peter is in the middle of giving his defense, and he asks, “Who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

Let that question sink in for a minute.

Let me tell you what it means to me.

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